I don’t think many people who review things like wine or food or cars or books or anything else–reviews themselves or if they do publish such results.
I review myself because it is a way to centre myself–reach for other categories, wines, wine regions and so fourth. I had recently compiled the data points of all of my wine videos as I was insatiably curious. I had a hunch as to where I was tracking but couldn’t say with certainty as to how many videos I had completed about Zinfandel for example—I knew it was a lot–but I don’t like to use such words like ‘a lot’ I like precision. Wine is both magical and mystical and I love them equally—it was one of the prime attractors that got me in this suitcase of love of wine. Shared moments of great wine, food and people around are the highest levels of both sophistication and primal need for goodness, comfort and bonding.
My brand–James the Wine Guy is to “demystify wine” so that wine is approachable and can be enjoyed without fear or trepidation but with confidence and delight. Additionally, my brand’s scope is to seek the world of wine in its totality and not limit myself to one region. I am insatiably curious about this thing called wine — I see exploration of wine for regional and varietal expression as very large book where there are so many more pages ahead to read than have been read. For me personally I have a deep need to explore, understand and experience wine as exhaustively as possible.
Wine is the most interesting product that exists–a long lineage of at least 8,000 years old. There is nothing quite like this product category–what other product category has a vintage? Also, there hundreds of thousands of labels–we don’t even know how many. The closest comparable might be books but that too does not act or behave in the same manner. Books have editions and yet very few have a yearly edition. Wine has a very strong statistical component–and all for logical reasons–the large quantity of product that exists as well as ratings and other metric components build to describe a category that is very complex and very simple all at one time. I need to explain very simple as being that which is easily understood by the senses all at once–without need for a statistical reinforcement.
Some metrics about my wine videos (I did deduct videos that had no strong component about a specific wine, region, or variety):
- 63% are domestic (US) and 37% import wines
- The average score of wines reviewed was 9.02 (out of 10 points) – my ten point system has often been elevated by some people to be 100 points which I am fine with (thought I do say my rating system is more highly logarithmic)
- My top 5 countries reviewed: 1) US 2) Italy 3) Spain 4) France 5) Hungary
- My top 5 wine regions reviewed: 1) Napa Valley 2) California (Non-AVA) 3) Dry Creek Valley 4) Rioja 5) Carneros
- My average video is 2 minutes and 19 seconds
- 78% are red wine and 22% white wine
- Top red varieties: 1) Zinfandel 2) Pinot Noir 3) Tempranillo 4) Cabernet Sauvignon 5) Syrah-Shiraz
- Top white varieties: 1) Chardonnay 2) Pinot Grigio / Pinot Gris 3) Albariño 4) Sauvignon Blanc 5) Pinot Bianco / Pinot Blanc (Tied) and 5) Riesling (Tied)
- I am glad I reviewed myself as I would like to and it has been in plan to add more international (import) wines to my reviews. Easy to review a large number of domestic wines since California’s wine country is in my backyard. Easier to acquire these wines.
- I am detailing further the list of international wines that I am seeking to taste and review via a written plan
- I am pleased with the score as I thought it would have been higher (I feel I am tracking to the logarithmic scale of my scoring system). Simply a 9.5 should constitute fewer number of reviews than 9.0 wines and so fourth
- Completely surprised that Hungary was number five–I would have suspected Chile, Argentina, Australia or even Croatia
- My average length of video will increase because I am either going to discontinue the “Mini Vidi” concept or reduce it sharply
- The red to white wines was some of a surprise as I would have expected a higher number such as 33% was what I would have imagined–a great opportunity to taste and video more white wines
- Zinfandel was not too surprising (as I am in Zinfandel country) the number one variety (red or white) and it constitutes 12% of all my videos.
I do see this helpful as least for myself–to lean on a richer and more meaningful review plan. I will be publishing my ‘wish list’ of wines that I am seeking out. Surprisingly in my wine review quest– I have had very few opportunities to taste Australian and Argentinian wines. And up until very recently France and Germany were also presenting with fewer opportunities. French regional wine regions have stepped up their marketing efforts and are working hard in this very competitive landscape. France still has abundant opportunity as well as Spain, Italy, Germany and Portugal to name a few.
I use to attend a yearly an Australian trade/consumer event and there has not been any at least in the Bay Area for nearly at least half a decade. There might have been very small events but I was not aware of such event. Australia is a great wine country–amazing depth, quality and variety characterization. I do see individual brands or smaller producers coming to events but what would help is a multi city tour. Shiraz / Syrah might be the reason for no longer touring. But it is the exact reason to tour to highlight Shiraz / Syrah–by doing so can highlight this wondrous grape and the polished wines that come from Australia.
Argentina has abundant opportunity and yet haven’t seen a consumer / trade event in San Francisco for at least 4-5 years. Highlighting Malbec is a great thing to do but also to show Argentina’s diversity.
I will continue to challenge myself and to review my experience against my written plan. I am glad to have done this metrics exercise-it was a great exercise in experience and how this measures to my brands tenets and to ultimately have diversity as a strong suit.
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